Manifesto of the Metaverse
For a fully useable virtual worlds system
Creation date: December 25, 2008.
Last update: August 15, 2009. Modified elements indicated into the text.
Links are toward the
detailed version of the manifesto,
for more technical discussion
manifesto is about listing all the
conditions and tools for having a fully useable virtual worlds
system, whatever its intended uses. These tools and conditions will
ensure that the 3D Internet, or the metaverse, will expand and
live as the 2D Internet did. For this, a
plurality of software solutions and content sources
revolving around a common specification
will ensure that everybody will be able
to freely express in the virtual space,
or will be able to find and see any
first, most today potential users today have no specific purpose when
trying virtual worlds. But when they realize what they can do with
them, and have enough learning, they engage into actions to fulfil a
purpose: they have appropriated
the virtual worlds system. It is often a serendipitous process
involving learning and exploration of our inner self.
can be many, and often unexpected: socializing, having fun, games,
having a dream place, gathering into groups, learning, science, work,
business, etc. But the most striking possibilities of virtual words
We can BE
what we cannot be in the physical world, and do things we cannot do
in the physical world
allow like-minded people to meet
They allow for interesting social
experiences, or artistic, cultural and
spiritual experiences, which may be a very good help for the
evolution of the individuals and of
society as well.
the virtual world system, like the 2D Internet,
must serve each purpose or motivation on an equal basis, and allow
for everybody to visit and create virtual worlds, whatever their
purpose, tastes, opinions, philosophy, religion, life style, etc.
like the 2D Internet does. This is
further referred as being content
key rule is that any user must be able
to have his own virtual place, with a
suitable neighbouring, or without having to bear any neighbouring.
basic technical condition for interoperability of virtual worlds is a
common communication system, referred
here as the WEM (named WEP before August 15, 2009), between the viewers and the worlds. It must be free,
normalized in the W3C, stable, and interoperable with the URL system
of the 2D Internet.
must be modular, for ease of adding new functions, and have
interfaces with most common programming languages. It must be able to
work in a full window, on all important systems, including game
consoles. It must be as reliable and good quality as allowed by the
good programming techniques. It must be free, without advertising,
easy to install, see native on the systems.
general way, this manifesto aims at
implementing the capacity for any
content creator to actually find an
interesting solution, about prices, but also about rules, philosophy,
themes and ambiance of each world. For this, experience showed that
we must provide a plurality of hosting
methods and hosting companies:
simplest hosting solution is to have one's world on the local
computer. Basic solutions must be affordable and easy to use.
Individual servers can host simple worlds, or be gathered in a
network for larger worlds. This allows for individuals or groups to
host their own worlds independently. Basic solutions must be
affordable and easy to use.
Hosting companies could host large collective
worlds or platforms,
where individuals and groups may have
each a place, at a better price or without the hassle of running a
server. Second Life is the prototype of such a platform. However it makes no
sense to oblige the users to live close together and hamper each
other. Thus each individual user must be allowed to own his own
island, even if very small. However communities (groups) of owners
may have neighbouring lands, with common rules, to share a common
purpose, vision or way of life. The purpose of having several such
companies hosting worlds is to have a globally content
neutral system, offering the
possibility for everybody to implement or find his theme, like on the
2D Internet. Cost for renting place should be based on
and disk space. Some world owners or host worlds may request a fee
for entering into the world.
Independent character and inventory
hosting companies may manage our
connection, inventory, body shape, money, authorizations, age or sex
flags, etc. in order to ease the teleporting from a world to another.
5) At last
learning companies would offer help to learn the virtual world's
ways. A good learning is a key for the efficient appropriation of the
virtual worlds and an appropriate behaviour in world.
is important for the user to feel good and welcome into a virtual
world. Shaping his virtual body is a crucial step into the user's
appropriation of virtuality, at a time where he still has no skills
or self confidence. Success of appropriation much
depends on the ease and flexibility of building a loveable body
shape. So the creation of the virtual
body has to be made as fast, flexible and simple as possible,
according to various methods: -simple selection of numerous ready made
shapes, -interchangeable elements -more complicated edition of
elements. Gender and other tags must be easily identifiable. It must
be possible to create any desirable shape, and even no shape.
animation of the virtual body must prepare the era of exoskeletons
and multivators, which will ensure a much more complete and sensitive
immersion than just sitting before a computer. For this a fast
communication protocol must be created, referred here as the NRMP://
protocol. Right now it would add much realism to animations.
At last the simulator
software must have interfaces for animations with most commonly used
must account with very different degrees in
building skills, and provide a variety of methods.
Life's method of «primitives» is easily
appropriable by non-skilled builders. But there are more difficult methods,
which give much better results. The use of common editing tools must be
possible. The shape rendering
system must be modular.
best rendering technologies and state of the art viewers should be
all objects created by an user must remain his property. Only the
actual creator must be able to set permissions for copying an object,
modify it, use it in a group, give it or sell it, etc. Copyright is
among the legal protections which must be true even in virtual
worlds, and this needs tools to be implemented.
For this a
full set of social and communication tools must be provided, in world
and between worlds, such as chats, messages, groups, binding contracts, profiles,
powerful search, authorizations, etc.
very first purpose of virtual worlds is to escape the limitations of
the physical society and life. From
this very purpose, and also from virtual worlds being only
simulations, many laws and moral rules lose their justification, and
must be discarded as irrelevant into the virtual worlds, where they
uselessly hamper the user experience. So laws about virtual worlds
must at the very first recognize this fact and protect this practice,
as an extension of the freedom of expression into a new situation and
with new means.
there is still a need for some general
protection of the person, or when
virtual activities have consequences into the physical world:
-fundamental right to a stable and protected virtual identity,
-protection of copyright and property, -protection of the person against
moral violence, exploitation, etc. -A specific issue is about the
simple representation of some extreme content, without the physical
To correctly legislate in this domain requires to understand
the non-duality between freedom of expression and protection of the public.
is a need of an appropriate international set of laws, similar to the
ones used aboard a space station or in Antarctica.
manifesto opposes laws encroaching on Human Rights, or uses of the
virtual worlds for war purposes.
It is very
important for users to have a safe and pleasant experience, free of
any small or large annoyance. They must also be able to achieve their
purposes or desires in confidence. It is also important to know what
they can do or not, and where. From this the use of, for instance,
gender flags, sexual flags, combat flags, style flags, etc.
world owner can set his own rules, but the basic rules being often
the same, it is interesting to propose a
Behaviour Rule Set,
known by everybody, which requires three parts:
with other users.
cheating in roleplay.
the theme of the world.
as only needs to define some additional rules or exceptions, and to
set the theme.
actions in world aim at more or less limiting
the power of an user who infringed the rules of a world. For this a
variety of tools must be available, like ban, booting, marking the
is also important to set age categories for users. However
this must not frustrate the youngest of the most interesting
contents, which must be available to all. For this we must rather
push potentially hasardous contents into peculiar places, rather than
excluding the youngest from the society at large.
may lead to consensual exceptions of some
laws on respecting the person, such as in fight, some sexual plays,
etc. However not all laws should have such exceptions, even in
roleplay, such as for instance extreme violence or paedophilia.
(Characters animated by software) can be very useful, or very
harmful. Especially it is a great disparaging of our human experience
to let them simulate friendship and love. So robots must be clearly
identified as such, and a world owner may ban them, or on the
contrary hide some robot identifications, for instance in a roleplay.
nothing intrinsically bad or questionable into virtuality by itself.
Some questionable contents may be addressed by law. Implementation of
some discipline tools will result into a very safe virtual
experience. Virtual worlds are not a kind of political or moral
revolution, they even not claim to change society, right on the
contrary they can bring many good things, for individuals and for
society as well. So the opposition to virtual words is just the usual
idiotic opposition against any novelty. So advertising virtual worlds
must emphasise on the (really achieved) safety and the realm of
possibilities they allow.
cannot sell virtual life by itself, and every attempt to impose such
a model will fail. However companies can successfully sell software,
hosting solutions, building, and services like disciplined worlds,
themed worlds, games, character hosting and identity check. But above
all the most important service to sell is being content